After the Vocation Director knows the man well enough to make a judgment about his readiness and aptitude for being a Jesuit, he invites the man to submit an application to enter the Novitiate and become a Novice. This application process generally takes three to eight weeks.
This process consists of completing a written application, a written spiritual autobiography, background checks, personal references, complete psychological interview, interviews with several Jesuit examiners and one lay colleague, medical and dental exams, HIV test, etc. Once these steps are complete, the Vocation Director presents the full report to the Provincial. The Provincial, after consultation with an application committee, makes a decision to accept, defer, or deny the applicant.
- Acceptance — The applicant is approved to enter the Novitiate as a Novice. Sometimes there are conditions attached, with recommendations for areas of concern that should be addressed before or during the Novitiate training.
- Deferral — A person’s entrance into the Novitiate may be postponed until the following year while the person grows or seeks help with some area of his life.
- Denial — The Provincial decides that the person is not ready, or not a good fit for the Society of Jesus.